- - Sunday, February 19, 2012

SOUTH KOREA

Live-fire drills go ahead despite North’s threats

SEOUL — South Korean troops began a live-fire artillery exercise Monday near the disputed Yellow Sea border with North Korea, despite the North’s threats of retaliation, officials said.

Military officials said the “routine” drill of one to two hours, their second this year, would involve self-propelled howitzers, Vulcan cannon, mortars and Cobra attack helicopters.


Military officials notified North Korea of the scheduled drill through representatives at the truce village of Panmunjom on Sunday. Hours afterward, the North’s military vowed “merciless retaliatory strikes” if any shells land in waters claimed by Pyongyang.

It said Seoul “should not forget the lesson” of the bombardment of Yeonpyeong island in November 2010, which killed four South Koreans. The North said that attack was in retaliation for a live-fire exercise that dropped shells into waters Pyongyang considers part of its maritime territory.

BRITAIN

Murdoch’s Sun on Sunday to start presses soon

LONDON — The successor to Rupert Murdoch’s shuttered News of the World newspaper will begin publication in a week’s time, a senior News Corp. executive said Sunday.

In an email to staff, News International CEO Tom Mockridge said that Mr. Murdoch himself would stay in the British capital to oversee the launch of the Sun on Sunday. Mr. Mockridge said he was sure that “every one of us will seize the opportunity to pull together and deliver a great new dawn” for the newspaper.

The Sun on Sunday will replace the top-selling News of the World, which was closed in July after revelations that members of its staff had routinely hacked into cellphone voicemail messages of celebrities, sports figures, politicians and crime victims and paid bribes to public officials to get exclusive stories. The ensuing scandal stunned Britain’s establishment, led to dozens of arrests and resignations, and has spawned a wide-ranging official inquiry into U.K. media ethics.

There has long been speculation that the Australian media tycoon intended to replace the market-leading paper with another one when the scandal faded.

NIGERIA

Five wounded in blast outside of church service

SULEJA — A bomb planted by an abandoned car exploded outside a church in the middle of a worship service Sunday near Nigeria’s capital, wounding five people amid a continuing wave of violence by a radical Islamist sect, authorities and witnesses said.

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